54 Facts About Sir John Major

1. Sir John Major shared most of Thatcher's conservative views, but, as prime minister, he showed himself to be more pragmatic and consensus-oriented in his approach.

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2. Sir John Major had hardly been in this post three months when another cabinet reshuffle resulted in his becoming chancellor of the Exchequer.

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3. Sir John Major worked with the issue of preparing British entry into the European Union with there being internal party opposition, including that of Thatcher.

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4. Sir John Major left school at 16 to pursue work and alternated between clerk and construction jobs and unemployment.

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5. Sir John Major continued serving in the Parliament, after which he retired in 2001.

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6. Sir John Major agreed in a response, but added: "I am afraid that my postbag has contained more critical than sympathetic letters.

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7. Sir John Major's reasoning is sound; he wants to spend more time with his husband and young sons.

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8. Sir John Major wrote newspaper columns, and appeared on TV shows such as Have I Got News for You.

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9. Sir John Major's was a teacher and a member of the Young Conservatives.

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10. On 26 April 2010, Sir John Major gave a speech in the Cambridge Union, after which he was granted honorary membership of the society.

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11. On 20 June 2008, Sir John Major was granted the Freedom of the City of Cork.

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12. Sir John Major was one of the prime ministers portrayed in the 2013 stage play The Audience, played by Paul Ritter.

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13. Sir John Major fears Brexit will make the UK poorer and border problems in Ireland could endanger peace there.

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14. Sir John Major is currently a president of the Chatham House think tank and advises Credit Suisse.

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15. Sir John Major was touted as a possible Conservative candidate for the Mayor of London elections in 2008, but turned down an offer from Conservative leader David Cameron.

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16. Sir John Major earns over £25,000 per engagement for his "insights and his own opinions" according to his agency.

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17. Sir John Major now supports a number of charities, including sight loss and learning disability charity SeeAbility, for whom he has acted as Vice President since 2013.

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18. Since leaving office, Sir John Major has maintained a low profile, indulging his love of cricket as President of Surrey County Cricket Club until 2002 and commentating on political developments in the manner of an elder statesman.

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19. Sir John Major was perceived as a weak and ineffectual figure, and his approval ratings for most of his time in office were low, particularly after "Black Wednesday" in September 1992.

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20. Sir John Major stood down from the House of Commons at the 2001 general election, having announced his retirement live on BBC One's breakfast television show with David Frost in October 2000.

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21. Sir John Major formed a temporary Shadow Cabinet, but with seven of his Cabinet Ministers having lost their seats at the election, and with few senior MPs left to replace them, several MPs had to hold multiple briefs.

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22. Sir John Major served as Leader of the Opposition for seven weeks while the leadership election to replace him was underway.

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23. Sir John Major refused, saying: "It would be terrible, because I would be presiding with no authority over a number of candidates fighting for the crown.

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24. Sir John Major attempted to draw some of the sting from the financial scandals by setting up public inquiries—the Nolan Report into standards expected in public life, and the Scott Report into the Arms to Iraq Scandal.

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25. Sir John Major denied all accusations and promised to wield the "sword of truth" in libel proceedings which he brought against The Guardian and the producers of World in Action Granada Television.

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26. At the 1993 Conservative Party Conference, Sir John Major began the "Back to Basics" campaign, which he intended to be about a wide variety of issues including the economy, education and policing, but which was interpreted by many purely in the context of returning to the moral and family values that they associated with the Conservative Party.

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27. In March 1995, Sir John Major refused to answer the phone calls of United States President Bill Clinton for several days because of his anger at Clinton's decision to invite Gerry Adams to the White House for St Patrick's Day.

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28. Sir John Major paved the way for the Good Friday Agreement, known as the 'Belfast Agreement', which was signed after he left office.

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29. Sir John Major opened talks with the Provisional Irish Republican Army upon taking office.

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30. Sir John Major replied: "Just think it through from my perspective.

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31. Sir John Major kept his economic team unchanged for seven months after Black Wednesday before eventually sacking Norman Lamont as Chancellor of the Exchequer, replacing him with Kenneth Clarke.

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32. Sir John Major took his campaign onto the streets, delivering many addresses from an upturned soapbox as he had done in his days on Lambeth Council.

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33. Sir John Major was appointed as a Parliamentary Private Secretary in January 1981, becoming an assistant whip in 1983.

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34. Sir John Major won the seat in the 1979 general election.

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35. In November 1976, Sir John Major was selected to be the candidate for the safe Conservative seat of Huntingdonshire.

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36. Sir John Major stood for election to Parliament in St Pancras North in both United Kingdom general elections in 1974, but was unsuccessful each time.

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37. Sir John Major stood as a candidate for Lambeth London Borough Council at the age of 21 in 1964, and was elected in the Conservative landslide in 1968.

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38. Sir John Major was sent to work in Jos, Nigeria, by the bank in 1967 and he nearly died in a car accident there.

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39. Sir John Major took up a post as an executive at the Standard Chartered Bank in May 1965 and he rose quickly through the ranks.

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40. Sir John Major was almost nineteen years old when his father died, at the age of eighty-two on 27 March 1962.

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41. Sir John Major joined the Young Conservatives in Brixton at this time.

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42. Sir John Major left school at the age of sixteen in 1959 with three O-levels in History, English Language and English Literature.

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43. Sir John Major attended primary school at Cheam Common and from 1954, he attended Rutlish School, a grammar school in the London Borough of Merton.

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44. Sir John Major used his middle name until the early 1980s.

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45. Sir John Major was christened "John Roy Major" but only "John Major" was recorded on his birth certificate.

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46. Sir John Major went on to retire from active politics, leaving the House of Commons at the 2001 general election.

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47. Sir John Major was succeeded by William Hague as Leader of the Conservative Party in June 1997.

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48. Sir John Major went on to lead the Conservatives to a record fourth consecutive electoral victory, winning the most votes in British electoral history with over 14,000,000 votes at the 1992 general election, albeit with a reduced majority in the House of Commons.

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49. Sir John Major presided over British participation in the Gulf War in March 1991, and negotiated the Maastricht Treaty in December 1991.

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50. Sir John Major became Prime Minister after Thatcher's reluctant resignation in November 1990.

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51. Sir John Major was first elected to the House of Commons at the 1979 general election as the Member of Parliament for Huntingdon.

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52. Sir John Major initially worked as an insurance clerk, and then at the London Electricity Board, before becoming an executive at Standard Chartered.

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53. Sir John Major served as Foreign Secretary and then Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Thatcher Government from 1989 to 1990, and was the Member of Parliament for Huntingdon from 1979 until his retirement in 2001.

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54. Sir John Major was born on 29 March 1943 and is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1990 to 1997.

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